Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

**1/2

Reviewed by: Donald Munro

Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs seams somewhat uninspired. Its plot is shallow compared to its predecessors. The jokes in it are predictable and it relies too much on slapstick. The characters of the animals are underdeveloped and the film is ultimately bland.

The biggest problem with the film is that it doesn't get the laughs it should. The audience that I saw it with didn't seem to find much of it funny. Only the youngest children there appreciated the slapstick sequences, which are often too long and predictable.

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While it doesn't get the laughs of the previous films it also doesn't have the emotional impact. Unlike the original Ice Age film there are no scenes to turn children vegetarian (at least for a couple of days) like Manny (the mammoth ) describing what happened to his wife and child at the hands of human hunters. In general, characters in this film don't develop much. There are no sabertooth tigers becoming part of a herd. They are unimaginative stereotypes from throwaway US comedy shows, the names of which you can't quite remember.

All that being said, watching the film isn't unenjoyable. The animation is of a high standard. Visually it all looks very good. The antics of baby T-Rexes are particularly cute. There are references to the likes of Moby Dick, The Flintstones and Aces High that work well. Some of the best of these come up in the bizarre love triangle that develops between Scrat the saber-toothed squirrel, a female squirrel and the acorn that Scrat perpetually chases.

The sequences with Scrat provide most of the humor that works. They also have some of the best uses of 3D animation in the film. The 3D is well done overall, avoiding the constant jumping in your face that other 3D films are wont to suffer from. Unlike other films in 3D, this doesn't give you a headache after the first 30 minutes.

As a family film Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs is a bit below par. It will keep younger children happy for a couple of hours without upsetting them and it has moments that you can appreciate as an adult, but it isn't very memorable.

Reviewed on: 30 Jun 2009
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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs packshot
The latest adventures of Manny and company - now with added dinosaurs!
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Director: Carlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier

Writer: Yoni Brenner, based on a story by Jason Carter Eaton

Starring: Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Joey King, Josh Peck, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano, Atticus Shaffer, Chris Wedge, Karen Disher

Year: 2009

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

Festivals:

EIFF 2009

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If you like this, try:

Ice Age
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown